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US war on poverty still not won, 50 years on

Published on Jan 8, 2014 6:05 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - In his first State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty in America. Fifty years later some progress has been made but gaping inequality remains.

"This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America," Mr Johnson told Congress on Jan 8, 1964, two months after he succeeded the assassinated John F. Kennedy.

"We shall not rest until that war is won," he declared.

The US poverty rate has dropped from 26 per cent in 1964 to 16 per cent today, thanks in particular to a variety of food aid programmes and tax credits, says the Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

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